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Uruguay vs Portugal
2018 FIFA World Cup, Round of 16, July 1. Fulltime
|Fisht Stadium, Sochi|
Uruguay have advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, picking up a 2-1 victory over Portugal on a humid night in Sochi.
Edinson Cavani was the star, finishing two wonderful goals for the South American nation, but they had a complete team effort with their defence coming through big under pressure.
Portugal, if you were watching without a scoreboard, dominated the game. They had nearly 70 per cent possession, great field position and 20 shots with ten corners, but could only make one goal count through a Pepe header in the 55th minute.
Uruguay will now take on France in the quarter-finals on Saturday morning (AEST).
In one of the more unpredictable round of 16 games at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Uruguay take on Portugal in Sochi. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of the match from 4am (AEST).
Neither team performed to pre-tournament expectation during the group stage, even if Uruguay did win all of their matches.
The South American nation did grow into their tournament though. The Uruguayans, after scrapping past Saudi Arabia and Egypt, both to the tune of 1-0, put three past Russia in a much-needed confidence-builder ahead of the knockout stages.
Their attack was a major concern during the early parts of the tournament. Luis Suarez and Endinson Cavani are as dangerous as they come up front, but only really became in sync with the rest of their team during that third match.
If Uruguay are going to go anywhere in the tournament, they are the key, but may not be against Portugal.
You see, Portugal have a player of Cristiano Ronaldo who just happens to be not only the best in the world, but also in-form and the only reason the side qualified for the knockout stages.
After a three-all draw against Spain where Ronaldo was the only goal-scorer They managed to get past Morocco 1-0 in the second game, picking up a crucial three points, before somehow scrapping out of their final game with Iran, picking up a draw and the point which qualified them.
It doesn’t leave the Portuguese looking all that good ahead of the knockout stages though, their form up and down like a yo-yo in the lead-up to the Cup as well.
Ronaldo can only do so much, especially when he is up against one of the world’s best defenders in Diego Godin. If he and the backline silence Ronaldo, it’s hard to see more than a moment of brilliance getting them onto the scoreboard.
It does require Uruguay’s midfield and attack to play in sync, but one suspects the confidence from beating Russia will allow them to do just that.
This is going to be one very intriguing battle. Hard to tip as well. The Portuguese rely heavily on Ronaldo though, who will have to find space around Godin. With strike talent at the other end, I’m not sure they will be able to hang on.
Uruguay 2 – Portugal 1.
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